Dr. Id. Psychologist of the Supernatural

Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Dr. Id. Psychologist of the Supernatural Writer(s): Adam McGovern
Artist(s): Paolo Leandri
Publishers: Indie Ink studios
From: USA
Price: US $2.95

Feeling anxious? Feeling a little disconnected? Then you could need a visit from super- psychologist, Dr.Id.

‘Dr Id’ is a fascinating clash of two different but equally absorbing concepts. On the one hand it is an affectionate satire of Silver Age comics [renamed here as the Zinc Age of comics]. The art is respectfully reminiscent of Silver Age masters such as Kirby, the dialogue a careful reproduction of the tone and phraseology from that wonderful era and the psychedelic visual features merely add to the effective and faithful recreation of an earlier time and place.
Leandri’s obvious love of pop- art matches with his considerable talent proves to be a perfect compliment for Mc Govern’s smart- alecky dialogue.

Be warned though this is not a quick read. It takes time and some effort to fully empathise with the created world presented here. Rest assured though, the effort is worthwhile. On the other hand the comic also satirises the modern world of pseudo therapy and self absorbed analysis of the individual. The combination is perceptive, witty, clever and above all fun.

Dr Id is a psychologist super hero who does battle with the inner demons that plague the confused and demented members of our contemporary society. So using his super human powers [accessed through the smoke from his pipe, now there’s a 70’s concept] he enters the minds of his patients and there does battle with his arch enemies like Judge Mental, Dr. Bill and Phantom Pain. Deep in the patient’s psyche these battles rage as Dr.Id uses weapons such as the rapier of rationality to defeat their repressed guilt, sexual hang-ups, double consciousness etc.

This first edition consists of seven self contained stories linked by a pseudo history of Dr. Id as a comic book character. The version I reviewed was an ashcan edition which hardly does justice to the art work or the ideas. Nevertheless the sheer quality of both shines through.

My personal favourite is, ‘The Man of Two Minds’, where a husband finds his being split into two mental and physical halves, one being the hen pecked husband the other the lazy selfish male, Dr. Id is called upon to reunite these two disparate personalities. To do so he has to split his own self into two and bring the two halves of his patient back into alignment and in doing so save the marriage. A tough job fro the 70’s super shrink.

The art is splendid, the dialogue delightfully corny and the tone one of respectful parody. Dr. Id is a clever comic in that it uses the past to create an almost Brechtian distancing to comment on the present. This is a comic that you can’t get out of your head. Forget about reading comics for enjoyment ‘Dr. Id’ is about reading comics for therapy.

In a Word: Couched.

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